Lomandra longifolia. C18

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Lomandra longifolia also known as thorny-headed asparagus is a plant belonging to the Asparagaceae family.

Specific References

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Lomandra derives from the Greek λωμα (loma), the edge of a robe, and ανηρ (aner), a man, referring to the edges of the leaves of some species; longifolia comes from the Latin longus, long, and folium, a leaf.

Spiny sedge is a rhizomatous sedge-like plant, forming dense clumps of stiff, long, flat (or slightly inward-rolled), nearly parallel-sided leaves, up to 1 cm wide. The leaves are glossy, 40-100 cm long, and are usually taller than the flowering stem. The leaf tips usually have 2 or 3 teeth, but there is great variation in species, depending on locality and growing conditions.

The plants are dioecious. The stalkless flowers, which are fragrant, form a dense spike-like inflorescence up to 50 cm long, containing dense clusters of tiny flowers along the flattened stem, each cluster with a sharp, straw-coloured bract near its base.

Individual flowers are about 4 mm long, and the female flowers are usually slightly longer or larger than the male flowers; the sepals are bright brown, slender and papery; the petals are fleshy and creamy yellow, sometimes purplish in the centre. The highly perfumed flower nectar can attract pollinating beetles.

The flower head is followed by brown seed capsules. The plants flower from August to December, and the seed heads last at least several weeks on the flower stalks.

This relative of the grass tree is found in many different habitats, from sand dunes, open woodland, stream banks to rainforests. When not in flower, it can be difficult to distinguish from a grass.

The plant can be grown both indoors and outdoors, and requires moist soil to grow. However, its thick leaves and rhizomatous root system help it, once cultivated, to tolerate dry periods. It is propagated by seed or by division.

The leaves of the plant can be used to make strong nets, baskets and mats.

15973
Lomandra longifolia also known as thorny-headed asparagus is a plant belonging to the Asparagaceae family.

Specific References

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